Want To Try It Out?

We  know that the idea of running out to buy leather holsters, two six shooters, a pistol caliber rifle, and a shotgun is somewhat intimidating, and sometimes can keep some people from trying it out. We want to make sure than everyone has the opportunity to try out a fantastic shooting sport if they choose to. We are going to give you many ways to give this sport a try.

First, if you think you might be interested, come out an watch us. One thing you will notice is everyone is smiling and laughing (how can you not have fun when an adult is dressed like a western hero?). One thing you will notice is that at every match, if someone is watching, often one of the cowboys will strap their own guns and leather on you so you can shoot a stage just for fun. Most of us bring extra ammo just for that purpose.

Even if you don’t have all the guns, come out anyway, and we will make sure you can take part. Most people will be willing to loan you the guns you need to fill your belts, but even if they don’t, or if you are not comfortable borrowing someone else’s hardware, we will let you shoot the stages anyway, and you can just take misses for the guns you don’t have. This is all about having fun and learning the sport anyway, and we are not trying to win a Cadillac, so just come out and have fun with what you have.

One other change we are additing is a new category for newcomers that don’t have the guns yet. Most of us have access to some old single action .22s in our gun safe, so bring them out. Normally, .22s are only legal for Buckaroos/Buckarettes, but for those that just want to try it out before they spend big money on guns, we are adding a new Heartland Only category called Sheepherders. This is not a SASS-legal category for adults, and will be scored separately from the main match, but it will give you a chance to try it out and see if this is the sport for you.

As far as the clothing required, all you need is a pair of jeans, long sleeve shirt, boots, and a cowboy hat. We will be pretty flexible when you are getting started, but no shorts, t-shirts, or ballcaps, please.

We look forward to you shooting with us in the coming years.

Cowboy Port Arms

One of the starting positions that seems to confuse some newer shooters is the concept of “cowboy port arms.” This video is a good overview of the starting position, as well as some techniques for transitioning that starting position into an effective way to attack the rifle targets on the stage.

One thing to keep in mind is that although this video shows the proper way to start at this position, you may find a club or two with lower berms that will vary this starting position with a lower muzzle.

I hope this video clears up any confusion that may be out there over what constitutes this starting position.

A Good Intro To Our Shooting Sport

Many of you who have been around cowboy action shooting for some amount of time are familiar with Jim “Long Hunter” Finch. He is a former World Champion who runs an outstanding gunsmith shop in Texas. Over the years, he has taught a large number of people the basics about this sport, and has helped them to reach their potential. For a great introduction to the sport, check out this video, and you will get a good idea of what this sport is all about.

We hope this gives you the incentive to join us, or at least to come out and see what we are about.


Think Single Action Means Slow?

Although you can have fun no matter how fast or slow you run your guns during a match, some people have remarked to me from other sports that we are slow shooters because all of our guns are single action. However, this is not the case, and many of the top shooters in the sport are capable of outrunning modern guns when they are on a stage. Going fast is not a requirement, but slow is not the name of this game.

If you thought that our guns are slow, sit back and check out this video.

SASS-A Sport For All Skill Levels

I am sure that a lot of you have seen the fast shooters, either in person or in videos. Don’t let that intimidate you. We are a family sport, with shooters of all ages and skill levels. For every twenty second shooter, there are quite a few that will shoot the same stage in sixty+ seconds. The one thing in common is that all of the shooters leave the line smiling.

Stages are designed with fun in mind so you can have a blast, whether you are someone that is fast, or just someone out for a relaxing fun day at the range. We strive safety above all else, so as long as you are safe, there is no wrong way to enjoy a SASS match.

SASS truly is a shooting sport for everyone!

What Categories Can I Shoot In?

SASS has a number of different categories in which a shooter can compete. These are designed to allow all shooters to be able to shoot in the style they would like to, as well as allow them to shoot against their own peers in order to find their own level of success. A wide range of shooters compete in this sport, with some as young at 8 and others in their eighties. By separating the categories as we do, this allows people to do well within their categories while all shooters still battle for the top cowboy (or cowgirl). Each of these categories is further separated by ladies and men.

The age-based categories are as follows:

  • Buckaroo: Under age 14. Shoots .22 and .410 shotgun is allowed
  • Young Guns: Age 14-16. Shoots smokeless with two-handed grip
  • Cowboy: Any age. Shoots smokeless with two-handed grip
  • Wrangler: Age 36-48. Shoots smokeless with two-handed grip
  • 49er:  Age 49-59. Shoots smokeless with two-handed grip
  • Senior: Age 60-64. Shoots smokeless with two-handed grip
  • Silver Senior: Age 65-69. Shoots smokeless with two-handed grip
  • Elder Statesman: Age 70+. Shoots smokeless with two-handed grip

Other categories include the following:

  • Duelist: Age 59 and under. Shoots smokeless with one-handed grip, one pistol at a time
  • Senior Duelist: Age 60+. Shoots smokeless with one-handed grip, one pistol at a time
  • Gunfighter: Age 59 and under. Shoots smokeless with one-handed grip, both pistols out at the same time
  • Senior Gunfighter: Age 60+. Shoots smokeless with one-handed grip, both pistols out at the same time
  • Classic Cowboy: All ages. Special clothing and caliber requirements, shoots with one-handed grip
  • B-Western: All ages. Special clothing and gun requirements, can shoot with a variety of grip styles
  • Frontier Cartridge: All ages. Shoots black powder with two-handed grip
  • Frontier Cartridge Duelist: All ages. Shoots black powder with one-handed grip
  • Frontiersman: All ages. Shoots black powder with cap and ball revolvers with one-handed grip

As stated in a previous post, when you are first starting out, we recommend that you begin in an age based category until you learn the ropes, then decide if you want to branch into other categories.

What Is It With The Clothes?

One of the misconceptions that we regularly hear is in regards to the clothing. People may say that they like the old style guns, but they don’t want to play “dress up.” Clothing is just one part of the sport, and our shooters across the nation range from those that take great pride in being historically accurate, to those that want to dress like their B-Western heroes, to those that just want to dress the minimum to be legal. Bear in mind that we are not historical reenactors. This is a shooting sport with minimal clothing requirements, and all are welcome.

You may see many people at our events that look like they stepped out of the 1880s, but you do not have to go that far in order to take part in a sport that is the most fun you can have with your boots on. All that is required of your clothing is the following: jeans, long sleeve “cowboy style” shirt, cowboy hat, and boots. If you choose to go farther, that is great, but we will not look down on you for dressing to the minimum, and this allows most people to get started with clothes that are probably already hanging in their closet.

The only exception to this is for those of you that choose to compete in the categories that are costume based, such as Classic Cowboy or B-Western, but we don’t recommend that shooters start here. Start off with age-based categories and get your feet wet, and then decide what you would like to branch off into.

The only clothing that is specifically banned by SASS is the following:

  • Modern shooting gloves
  • Short sleeve shirts (applies to males only)
  • T-shirts and tanks tops (though long sleeve Henley shirts with buttons are allowed)
  • Designer jeans
  • Ball caps
  • Athletic shoes or combat boots (some exceptions can be made if need is due to medical issues)
  • Logos or sponsorship on clothing

Saddle up and join us soon!

What Is Cowboy Action Shooting?

Even if you have heard of our sport, you may have questions of what we are all about, and what is involved with what we do. A few years ago, a shooter from Colorado, Grizzly Dave, put together a very detailed introduction to our sport. Sit back, pop the top on an ice cold sarsaparilla, and enjoy the video introduction…